Former Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl won the Coach of the Year last season, yet somehow wound up being fired after a first-round playoff defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
So it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that Karl is still pretty bitter about the playoff series that cost him his job, and he had some interesting things to say in an interview with Dave Krieger, a radio host on 850 KOA.
First, when asked if Andre Iguodala was “the mole” in the series, Karl responded, “No question.” Iguodala spent last season with the Nuggets before signing a multi-year deal in free agency with the Warriors, and many suspect that there was something fishy happening between Iguodala and the Warriors before the series was even over.
Just to add on to the speculation, here’s what Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month:
It’s interesting, during one of the playoff games in Denver, I was sitting on the floor. It turned out per chance, that one of [Iguodala's] cousins was sitting behind us. We introduced and got to know him during the first game. When we came back for the second game, he made it pretty clear that Andre liked the Warriors, liked the organization. Obviously, I couldn’t talk about that at the time, but when he did become a free agent, I didn’t have to sell a lot.
Mark this game down on your calendar: Warriors @ Nuggets, Dec. 23. You can bet that Iguodala will be booed even harder than Warriors fans booed Lacob two years ago.
Karl also had some not-so-nice things to say about Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. If you can recall, Jackson tried to play some mental games with Karl by announcing that he would start Carl Landry, but then bring out Jarrett Jack instead just before tip-off.
“I thought Mark had a lot of tricks in that series that were bush- . . . I don’t know,” said Karl. “I don’t know what they were. Almost high-schoolish. They were beneath the NBA level. And they might have worked. They might have motivated his young team in a good way. You know, he’d announce a starting lineup and start another guy. C’mon, man. You think we’re not ready for that?”
Well the problem was that it did work, as the Warriors bested the Nuggets in six games and Karl was terminated not long after.
At least he’s a Warriors fan now:
I’m a Golden State fan. I’ve never seen a team with that many offensive weapons. David Lee and Bogut, you could run an offense through them and they could win games. If the Denver Nuggets had Bogut and David Lee, they’d be good. And they’re not among the top offensive options. Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Iguodala. They have so many weapons offensively that can blow up, and they’re doing a pretty good job with the defense.